A skylight is a nice addition to any home; it brings in a lot of light and brings an open feeling to your home. How do I know this you ask? Well, I have one; or to be more precise I moved in recently to a house that has one. It’s been amazing through the colder months, and I’ve come to like it. However, as the temperature started to rise I’ve noticed a serious problem with heat; namely, all the rooms with the skylight’s get unbearably hot. The final solution was installing Crown Motorized Skylight Cellular Shades.
A few solutions that came to mind (especially since I am part of ZebraBlinds.com) were the Graber Skylight Cellular Shades or the Crown Motorized Skylight Cellular Shades. There were the additional options of skylight blinds, however, I had no interest in them since although they block heat, they wouldn’t be as sleek and modern looking (in my eyes anyway). I bought the light filtering version of the shades so that some light always comes in however the Crown Blackout Motorized Skylight Cellular Shades are also available (for those who need all light to be blocked). An added advantage of the cellular shades is that their unique honeycomb design traps air in between the fabric layers; essentially providing a layer of insulation against the window. I think it’s time I talk about the product rather than bore you to death with details.
Out of the box
The shade was surprisingly light for the size I ordered. My window dimensions were 33 3/4″ wide by 28″ high; the box was light enough to hold it up with a few fingers. The packaging is pretty good, with lots of bubble wrap to keep the shade damage free. The box itself has a few warning labels to inspect against damages and an added touch; a thank you sticker for supporting American Manufacturing. The Crown Motorized Skylight Cellular Shades comes in a closed position, along with a remote (battery included), a battery wand (8 alkaline batteries included), 4 installation brackets (and screws), 2 white side channels (PVC channels with aluminum strips), some wire ties (to use as needed, which I didn’t) and installation instructions.
I ordered the Snow 352205800, 1/2″ double cell since it was the closest color to my white wall and two layers of cells provide better insulation. The shade itself has an excellent build quality, and everything is pre-assembled and plug and play. The remote is black in color and can control up to 5 individual shades or group of shades; however the shades have to be running on the same motorized system as these. Using the shades is straightforward and easy, there are five buttons on the remote: up, stop, down, channel left & channel right. The channel buttons are used to switch channels so you can control multiple shades. Holding the up or down button for about 3 seconds opens or closes the shade completely; pressing the up or down buttons lets you fine tune the shade’s position. Pressing the stop button essentially stops the shade anywhere you want it to stop while it’s going up or down. It’s very easy and extremely convenient. When closed while there is direct sunlight, the light filtering sh
ade lets in some light; it looks like a glow around the window. The shade does a fantastic job of keeping the heat out, and I’ve noticed a drastic reduction in temperature in the room I installed the shades. Overall I would certainly recommend these since they do their job efficiently and it’s very easy to use.
Installation was relatively easy and straightforward; in total it took me ten minutes. The first step is to install two brackets at the top of the skylight. Once done connect the batteries to the shade and then snap the headrail (top section) of the shade into the brackets and lower the shade all the way down to where you need the bottom rail to be mounted. Mark the bottom section and then screw in the brackets for the bottom and snap the bottom rail into them. Finally, keep the shade lowered and use the side channels on both sides; position them correctly and simply screw them in. That’s it, and you’re done.
At home, I use a home automation system known as Samsung’s Smartthings, and I am currently looking for a way to integrate these directly into it. If any progress is made, this post will be updated.